Leslie Turk

Cell phone ban while driving back up for debate

by Leslie Turk

New Orleans state Rep. Austin Badon is re-energizing his effort to ban the use of hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Badon re-filed his bill for the upcoming legislative session, a proposal similar to what passed the House last year but died on the Senate floor in the session's final days, The Times-Picayune reports.

Badon said Wednesday his House Bill 146 would allow the use of hands-free cell phones and electronic communications devices but would prohibit the use of the hand-held varieties for all drivers. The Legislature last year passed a measure sponsored by Sen. Julie Quinn, R-Metairie, banning text messaging by all drivers, and prohibiting hand-held cell-phone use by drivers with learner's permits. The young drivers can still use a hands-free device, however. "I think we'll get it through the House again, " Badon said. "The Senate is always a different animal. . . . It is kind of crazy just to do it for young drivers" and not others.

Read the rest of the T-P story here.